Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto feels that his team is now better placed to fight for the championship than they were when Sebastian Vettel was part of their driver line-up.
Ferrari came close to winning the 2017 and 2018 title under the able guidance of former team principal Maurizio Arrivabene.
In both these years, Vettel was leading the table at the midway stage. However, he was caught up by Lewis Hamilton who won both seasons.
Binotto has seen his team once again make some early ground in the title battle, with Charles Leclerc currently enjoying a 20-point lead over Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after the first two races.
Although Binotto has only been the team principal at Ferrari since 2019, he has played a part in the success of the team ever since 1995.
Can Ferrari win the Championship?
He believes that this season his team is best placed to deliver the results despite facing the heartbreak of seeing Hamilton topple them in recent years.
“I think that keeping up the level of development through a season is always a challenge, not only for us but for all the teams,” Binotto told RacingNews365.com.
“But it’s true as well that our competitors are very strong at that, and they’ve proven to be very strong, while Ferrari, [during] the last two opportunities we had in 2017 and 2018, lost a bit of ground through development.
“I think since then, as for our car design, we have improved our tools, which are [the] wind tunnel, methodologies, process and [the] simulator.
“I think that today we are much better prepared, compared to the past, to do the proper job, as well as in development.”
Budget cap presents fresh challenge
The presence of a budget cap has also presented Ferrari with a fresh challenge.
All upgrades need to be planned extensively as any mistakes could play a detrimental role in their title quest.
Binotto feels that FIA needs to be proactive in ensuring that rival teams also stay within the given budget.
“We need as well to add that, compared to the time, today we’ve got a budget cap, which will influence the rate of development. I think that’s a key point, or a key element,” he said.
“You know my concerns, that we need to make sure that we’ve got the right policing on that, because it can be, let me say, a game-changer in the fight for developments.”